I have less than 10 weeks until my due date. This is the toughest time of pregnancy for me. My belly is growing larger by the minute, my clothes are getting tighter, I’m feeling all sorts of aches and pressure. A workout is often the last thing on my mind.
I do push myself to make time for exercise though. I find that it always makes me feel better. Plus, I know it’ll help prepare for the most difficult workout of all- child birth.
A mom friend once told me that she trained for childbirth like it was a marathon. She ate healthy, focused on breathing techniques, and continued to workout as hard as she could. That idea made so much sense to me. Childbirth is like a marathon. It’s both mentally and physically challenging.
So, no matter how often I dash off to the bathroom, I am still trying my best to keep active and maintain my workout routine. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite prenatal workouts that’ll help you prepare for labor and hopefully help you bounce back quicker.
Always make sure to talk to your doctor before attempting any exercise while pregnant.
6 Easy Exercises to Prepare for Labor
1. Walk or Run (If you can!)
I went out running a few weeks ago, and it was not easy. As much as I like to run, I think I may stick with walking from here on out. Fortunately, W loves taking walks with me. We just met up with some friends for a nice walk this morning! If you find it’s too hot outside to walk, head to a museum or mall for a walk. You can pick up some baby clothes while you’re there. For those of you impressive mamas who are still able to run up until the end, check out 10 Dos and Don’ts of running while pregnant.
Yoga is a really great exercise to prepare for labor. It’s the perfect time to practice all of those breathing techniques. If you can find a prenatal yoga class in your area, definitely go for it. I haven’t found any extra time to get to one in my area, but, fortunately there are plenty of prenatal yoga DVDs and youtube videos available. Check out the pregnancy yoga video below. It’s only 10 minutes long and there are a few episodes. Or, you can check out these 12 prenatal yoga poses to prepare for birth from Birth Without Fear.
This is my second pregnancy during the summer months. Even though it may seem like a pain to be pregnant during the hot, humid days, I really don’t mind. It’s easy to throw on a light sundress, sandals and the pool could not be more refreshing. I found this amazing prenatal pool workout from Fit Pregnancy. It’s broken up into three parts: shallow water moves, deep water moves and swimming.
4. Strength Training
If you read my review on the Barre workout, then you know that I’m totally hooked. It’s fairly low impact (which is great for this pregnant mama) and there’s lots of strength training involved. Pushing a baby out is no easy feat, so I want to go into it as strong as I can be. If you can’t find the time to head out for a class, there are lots of easy strength training exercises you can do at home. You can use your own body weight or try out this simple strength training routine from Popsugar using light hand weights. I really like this article about Strength and Core Conditioning During Pregnancy from BeFit-Mom. It lists some strength training exercises you can do with or without weights and how to do them safely. It also discusses muscles that tend to weaken during pregnancy.
5. Use an exercise ball
I used the exercise ball a lot near the end of my first pregnancy. Apparently I used it so much that when my son was born bouncing on the thing was the only thing that would put him sleep! Despite the risk of newborn-exercise-ball-dependency, there are still some great workouts you can do on the ball. You can find an easy exercise ball workout over on Babble. Bonus: it’s very comfortable to sit on!
The third trimester brings a whole bunch of aches and pains from muscles you didn’t even realize you had. One of my favorite parts of yoga is the stretching. It feels so good on all of those tired muscles. Here are 6 Pregnancy Stretches to Prepare for Birth from Dr. Sears’ site.
More on Pregnancy
- The Perfect Pregnancy Trail Mix Recipe
- 8 Fabulous Benefits of Pregnancy
- 7 Ways to Stay Active for a Healthy Pregnancy
- 10 Dos & Don’ts of Running while Pregnant